There’s ‘ton of stuff’ for advanced players in Magic XBLA

You’ve been tapping mana and slinging summons and “Artifacts” since 1993. You’ve spent hundreds, nay, thousands of dollars creating the perfect deck. You’ve rocked opponents in your local shop and perhaps even traveled to a convention center to compete and win. You don’t need a rulebook. Hell, you’re the person answering questions. You’re a Magic: The Gathering veteran and you’re probably wondering what the upcoming Xbox LIVE Arcade release Magic: The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers has in store for you.

In a nugget, I was told today that Duels of the Planeswalkers has essentially four things to offer Magic nerds: complex decks, 40 to 50 hours worth of play, solid AI, and puzzles.

“[There’s] 40 to 50 hours of content that’s not available anywhere else,” senior brand director Aaron Goolsbey told me via phone. “The decks that we constructed, they get increasingly more complex. The AI is the best AI that we’ve ever produced for Magic, so if you can’t find a friend to play with you can always play against the Duels’ AI. It’s spectacular.”

Senior business manager Worth Wollpert expanded on Goolsbey’s comment, mentioning the return of “old-style” puzzles. Hit the break for it.

“I’ll expand on that,” Wollpert said. “We have a bunch of achievements on XBLA. We have challenges and puzzles that experienced players are going to love. They’re similar to the — I don’t know if you’re familiar with the old-style Duelists puzzles — where you’re dropped into a situation and you have to figure your way out of if or get to a specific endpoint within a few moves. They’re a little bit like chess puzzles. The co-op modes online are also really going to be great for entrenched players. We have two-headed giant so that you can play four-player Magic online with your buddies. There’s a ton of stuff for advanced players.”

Of course, there will also be downloadable content. Watch out for the rest of our interview tomorrow and get an idea of what to expect if you plan to purchase Duels of the Planeswalkers.

Brad BradNicholson